Hearing on PG dismissal case deferred

HARARE - Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)’s case in which it dragged President Robert Mugabe to the High Court, challenging his decision to fire Prosecutor-General Ray Goba, has been deferred to next Wednesday.

In the court application for a declaratory order and consequential relief, ZLHR, cited Mugabe, the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) and Goba as respondents. ZLHR is claiming that Mugabe’s move was unconstitutional.

However, High Court judge Priscillah Chigumba postponed the matter to November 8, after it emerged in court that Mugabe’s office had not signed the return of service. On the other hand ZLHR’s lawyer Eric Matinenga also sought to have Attorney-General Prince Machaya and Justice minister Happyton Bonyongwe join as respondents in the matter.

According to an affidavit by Roselyn Hanzi, ZLHR’s executive director, Goba’s dismissal was not in line with the country’s Constitution.

“This is an application challenging the legal validity of the government Gazette Extraordinary Notice No. 642 of 2017 published on the 27th October, 2017…The said Gazette General Notice purports to invalidate the appointment of the 3rd respondent (Goba) to the office of the Prosecutor-General.

“I contend that the purported reversal of 3rd respondent’s appointment through a Government Gazette General Notice is unlawful, ultra vires provisions of the Constitution in addition to being in breach of provisions of the Administrative Justice Act, [Chapter 10:28] and of the common law right to be heard before having your civil rights adversely interfered with,” Hanzi said.

The ZLHR is now seeking an order declaring as invalid and of no legal force and effect the government Gazette purporting to repeal Goba’s appointment.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the applicant (ZLHR) also seeks an order directing the 1st respondent (Mugabe) to administer the prescribed oath of office on the 3rd respondent failing which the oath of office taken by the 3rd respondent on the 7th of July, 2016 as acting Prosecutor-General, be confirmed as being sufficient for the appointment of the 3rd respondent to the substantive position of Prosecutor-General.

“That the 1st and 2nd respondents (Mugabe and JSC) be and are hereby interdicted from removing or in any other way interfering with the 3rd respondent’s constitutional appointment without following the removal from office procedures provided for in Section 259 (7) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe,” Hanzi said.

She said in terms of the country’s Constitution, there is no provision for the removal of a duly appointed Prosecutor-General through the repeal of the Gazette that announced his appointment.

Mugabe rescinded the confirmation of Goba last week, less than two months into the job. His appointment came after he had participated in public interviews conducted by the JSC in August to select a substantive PG following the dismissal of Johannes Tomana.

Comments (1)

zvine basa reikooo?

g40 - 6 November 2017

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